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International Allegations of Corruption

Updated: Mar 5

Ronald Reagan talking about Freedom said,

"Law and freedom must be indivisible partners.

For without law, there can be no freedom, only choas and disorder; and

without freedom,

law is but a cynical veneer for injustice and oppression."



quote of Corruption in Government
Corruption in Government

Ludwig Heinrich Edler von Mises was an Austrian School economist, historian, logician, and sociologist. Mises wrote and lectured extensively on the societal contributions of classical liberalism and is known for explaining how communism always ends in totalitarianism and dictatorships. source quoted from Wikipedia


 

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Freedom Voice Reports is an Investigative Reporting team with an emphasis on protecting our freedoms. Reporting on authoritative government, dark money used by business to persuade our political institutions, our court system, drug trafficking stealing so many lives, parental rights being lost in our educational system and so much more




About the Author

Maibort Petit is a Venezuelan writer, researcher and political scientist specialized in Transnational Organized Crime. Based in New York, she works for various Hispanic media outlets and as a consultant for various firms in New York and Washington DC.


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With the preface above hopefully, our readers can appreciate why law and order and the fight against corruption is such a large part of our struggle.


We will discuss how leaders in Government and their contacts have used that trust to enrich themselves and on with our first story....


Keys to understanding the case of Nervis Villalobos Cárdenas

His name is associated with various allegations of corruption in the Venezuelan electricity sector and in PDVSA, which have meant the loss of millions of dollars from the public purse.


by Maibort Petit

Freedom Voice, Venezuela Politica, Sin Filtros




As we have been doing in recent installments with the protagonists of notorious corruption cases, on this occasion we present the key points of the Nervis Villalobos criminal case, which is being heard in the Texas District Court-Houston Division.


Nervis Villalobos Cárdena's Profile

Born in Maracaibo and married to Milagros Coromoto Torres, Nervis Gerardo Villalobos Cárdenas, is an electrical engineer graduated from the University of Zulia, who worked at Enelven, where he held important management positions.


In the management of Alí Rodríguez Araque,

he was appointed General Director of Energy of the Ministry of Energy and Mines and, later, when the aforementioned office was assumed by Rafael Ramírez,

Villalobos became the Vice Ministry of Electric Energy. From this last position, he was in charge of developing various plans to increase electricity generation, including that of La Vueltaa in the states of Mérida and Táchira.

It is due to the alleged commission of irregularities in this and other electrical projects, that his name begins to star in a series of complaints of corruption.



In 2003, the Legal Consultancy of the Foundation for the Development of the Electric Service (Fundelec),

warned about alleged irregularities in the execution of 8 billion bolivars that the Ministry of Energy and Mines allocated to a contract for a savings awareness campaign energy destined to several television channels. Villalobos

Cárdenas would have signed said contracts without having the powers to do so.

The case was also investigated by the Office of the Comptroller General of the Republic and the Public Ministry.


In the mouth of Luis Tascón and friend of the Bolichicos

The late pro-government deputy, Luis Tascón,

denounced him in 2007 for hiring companies that have misappropriated funds in the construction of the Fabricio Ojeda power plant, known as La Vueltaa, and accused an alleged fraud of USD 60 million in said project.


The former US ambassador to Venezuela, Otto Reich,

also pointed out that he had offered bribes

on behalf of the Derwick Associates company

to former Minister Rafael Ramírez.

Villalobos denied it and maintained that his work was limited to consulting.



Likewise, the Termozulia IV generation plant, located in the Termozulia Complex, in the La Cañada de Urdaneta municipality of that entity, was linked to alleged acts of corruption in the construction.


Rain of complaints

Nervis Villalobos is also among the Venezuelan government officials involved in the scandals of the Private Bank of Andorra and the Bank of Madrid, according to the newspaper El Mundo (Spain) in 2015.


These would be million-dollar commissions supposedly obtained from the irregular hiring of the Spanish company Duro Felguera that in 2009 to build the El Sitio power plant in Valles del Tuy, Miranda, for more than USD 2 billion. The case is under review by the investigating judge for economic crimes, Canólic Mingorance Cairat, of the Section of Specialized Instruction I of the Bastille of Andorra [1].



It also had to do with the case of Cuban-American businessmen Luis Díaz Jr. and Luis Javier Díaz, father and son, sentenced in New York for helping to launder millions of dollars from officials and former officials of the Venezuelan government. [2]


$ 1.5 Million in watches

A report from the Andorra Financial Intelligence Unit (Uifand) dated September 2020, states that Nervis Villalobos Cárdenas spent USD 1.5 million in 2011 on the purchase of watches from the Rolex, Cartier, Chopard and Breguet brands.

The objective of the acquisition would have been to bank money through a jeweler now subjected to an investigation process [3].


 

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The charges

In February 2018, along with Luis Carlos de León Pérez, César David Rincón Godoy, Alejandro Istúriz Chiesa and Rafael Ernesto Reiter Muñoz and Nervis Villalobos Cárdenas were

accused in the

Texas District Court-Houston Division

of the alleged commission of conspiracy

crimes to commit money laundering;

money laundering;

and conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.


These former Venezuelan officials allegedly participated in an international money laundering scheme that involves bribes to secure contracts with Petróleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA).


Luis Carlos De León Pérez, Nervis Gerardo Villalobos Cárdenas, César David Rincón Godoy and Rafael Ernesto Reiter Muñoz,

were arrested in Spain in October 2017

by the authorities of the Iberian nation in response

to orders issued by the Texas court.


Villalobos Cárdenas remains in Spanish custody pending extradition to the United States.


 

memo:

PDVSA is

Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. is the Venezuelan state-owned oil and natural gas company. It has activities in exploration, production, refining and exporting oil as well as exploration and production of natural gas.



 

Arguments of the prosecution


According to the documentation of the US authorities,

the five defendants were known as PDVSA's "management team"

which conspired among themselves and others to solicit various suppliers of the Venezuelan state oil company - among some residents of the United States and with companies from your ownership and control

— kickbacks in exchange for the approval of contracts and assistance in connection with the company.

The allegation adds

that the co-conspirators laundered the proceeds of the bribery scheme

through a series of complex international financial transactions,

including through bank accounts in the United States, and,

in some cases

advances in bribery enter the form of real estate transactions and other investments in the US.

The indictment states that Roberto Enrique Rincón Fernández and Abraham José Shiera Bastidas, sent more than USD 27 million in bribery payments to an account in Switzerland of which de León and Villalobos were authorized signatories. These funds were later transferred to other accounts also in Switzerland. Both Roberto Rincón and Shiera pleaded guilty in the southern district of Texas to the FCPA charges in connection with a scheme to bribe PDVSA officials.


Drug trafficking

On March 26, 2020, the Drug Control Administration (DEA) accused several people close to the governments of Hugo Chávez and Nicolás Maduro of maintaining relations with drug trafficking, but Villalobos Cárdenas categorically denied it.




"I have not been, nor am I, nor will I be investigated for drug trafficking,"

he assured El Mundo,

despite the fact that the DEA incorporated him into a scheme in which it places the Chavista leaders who would have turned Venezuela into "a drug state that sponsors the terrorism, joining the FARC [former Colombian guerrilla] to export tons of cocaine to the US "[4].


Switzerland denies him residency

In March 2021, Swiss authorities denied Nervis Villalobos and his family a residence permit that he introduced in 2016.


The Secretariat of State for Migration recommended to the Federal Administrative Court of Switzerland not to admit the request, as it could damage the reputation of the country and threaten internal order and security in that nation,


because Villalobos is the subject of a judicial process for corruption and money laundering.


The court accepted the recommendation.


Witness in the case of Modoro

In September 2021, Nervis Villalobos testified as a witness before the National Court of Spain on the case that this judicial instance


Is investigating on the former Spanish ambassador to Venezuela, Raúl Modoro,


who supposedly between 2011 and 2015 would have received more than 4.5 million euros from PDVSA.


He said he did not know Modoro until Spanish police contacted him for help on the alleged commissions of the Venezuelan oil company PDVSA.


During a raid, the police found a Modoro contract with PDVSA in Villalobos' residence that Villalobos said was in his possession because it was delivered to him by the Spanish police in 2016 to provide information on the signatories.


REFERENCES [1] Venezuela Politics. "That's how billions of PDVSA passed into the BPA bank accounts of former Chavista officials." May 8, 2018. https://www.maibortpetit.info/2018/05/asi-pasaron-miles-de-millones-de-pdvsa.html [2] Venezuela Politics. "Jurado found guilty two businessmen who helped launder millions of dollars from Chavista officials in Miami." November 16, 2017. https://www.maibortpetit.info/2017/11/jurado-declaro-culpable-dos-empresarios.html [3] El Pitazo. "Nervis Villalobos: the former Deputy Minister of Energy that the US is looking for." November 5, 2021. https://elpitazo.net/politica/nervis-villalobos-el-exviceministro-de-energia-que-busca-ee-uu/

[4] The World. "The former deputy minister of Chávez defends himself against the US accusation: 'I have not been, nor am I, nor will I be investigated for drug trafficking.'" April 8, 2020. https://www.elmundo.es/internacional/2020/ 04/08 / 5e8c890721efa094668b46ce.html


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